HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – Governor Tom Corbett has signed into law a controversial bill expanding a person’s right to use lethal force in self-defense in Pennsylvania.

Critics of the measure, which eliminates a person’s duty to retreat to safety when possible while facing a threat, say it will allow people to “shoot first and ask questions later.”

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But the sponsor of the bill, House Republican Scott Perry (seated at right in photo), says no one should have to ask questions when it comes to protecting their own lives.

“You should be able to defend yourself no matter where you’re at. Your life is valuable. If you’re a law-abiding citizen, you shouldn’t have to ask the government if you can defend yourself,” he said.

Gov. Corbett (holding pen in photo) has this take on the measure he has now made law:

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“I think it codifies what is existing law — it really is.  It codifies the self-defense law under common law.”

Corbett has also signed into law a bill that makes a major change to the state’s lawsuit liability rules (see related story), which was one of his top legislative priorities.

Reported by KYW Harrisburg bureau chief Tony Romeo

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